In effort to increase safety in the workplace, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) introduced a new rule in 2015 that requires employers to report serious injuries that require hospitalization, amputations, and loss of eye injuries within 24 hours of an incident. Previously, employers were only required to report accidents that resulted in fatalities and hospitalization of three or more employees. With the new requirement, OSHA aims to bring to light dangerous work conditions that could be changed to prevent further injuries and fatalities.
Some employers have responded to the new rule by identifying hazards in the workplace that led to the reported accidents. The subsequent improvements raise the safety standard for their company. Others have not been as compliant, leaving it to OSHA to investigate these unsafe workplaces to ensure no further injuries occur.
In Pennsylvania, the 2015 OSHA regulation has resulted in data that shows 1,318 serious injuries from 2015 to August 2016. The employers with the highest number of incidents include the Hershey Company, Walmart, Lowes, Corle Building Supplies, Waste Management, East Penn Manufacturing, UPS, the United States Postal Service, Americold Logistics, Treesmiths, Verizon, Clemens Food Group, and Conestoga Wood Specialties.
The injuries were often related to the dangers inherent in each company’s business area. Verizon employees suffered four reported injuries that included accidents with an aerial lift, a fallen telephone pole, and being struck by a car while on the job. At Treesmiths, the injuries were related to chainsaws and a fall from a tree. Lowe’s, the home building chain, reported injuries related to pallets and forklifts, as did Americold Logistics, a company specializing in temperature-controlled warehousing and transport.
Similarly, of the four injuries reported by Conestoga Wood Specialties, one was the result of a table saw the accident, and one was a hospitalization due to glazing fumes. All the accidents at Clemens Food Group, a distributor of pork products, involved meat processing equipment.
The highest number of injuries in Pennsylvania came from the United States Postal Service which reported 16 incidents to OSHA. The majority of these were slip and fall accidents under various circumstances. East Penn Manufacturing was second highest with nine reported injuries. The Lyons Station-based company is a major manufacturer of lead-based batteries. One of their employees slipped on ice in the parking lot and was hospitalized for a fractured ankle, but the other injuries involved moving heavy equipment and resulted in three-finger amputations and two crushing accidents.
Walmart, UPS, and Waste Management all reported seven injuries ranging from slip and falls to broken bones and amputations. Waste Management also had a burn incident and an injury from a vehicle rollover. The rest of the above Pennsylvania companies each had four injuries to report.
Many employers strive to maintain a safe workplace for their employees, but this is not always the case. If you have been injured on the job, you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. The Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Gross are highly experienced and will guide you through the process ensuring the best possible outcome for your case. Call us today at 267-589-0090 to schedule a free and confidential consultation in our Philadelphia office or complete our online contact form.